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SMART Photonics raises €7 million in second round of investment.


Investment to be used for further growth, including building a new plant and recruiting additional staff.

SMART Photonics has managed to raise seven million in a second round of investment to further growth, with plans to build a new plant and increase staff numbers.

According to Robert Feelders, CFO of SMART Photonics, the current development of the photonics industry is similar to the early stages of the microelectronics. The expectations are high, especially because Eindhoven is one of the hotspots for this new technology. "Last year we were started to produce for the market, but we know that we still are in the beginning stages of this development. More customers will be joining us, this is a very exciting time for us."

Feelders previously worked for the photonics department of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), where SMART Photonics also originated. The company specialises in the development and (mass) production of integrated photonic chips. These chips could eventually replace the electronic chips, because they are faster and more accurate. The capacity problems expected in data transmission could eventually be solved by photonic chips.

Feelders: "We make our chips based on indium phosphide. With this technology, you can make measurements a thousand times more accurate. That is important, for example in aviation where you can measure the slightest bending of the material, but you can also notice the tiniest cracks in metal."

SMART Photonics combines their "Multi Project Wafer" (a dish with space for various chips) orders from different customers as a means of reducing production costs to appeal to smaller companies.

Expectations for the photonics industry are high. Studies show that the global photonics market is already around 600 billion. That market is expected to grow strongly, and in 2025 will have passed the 3,000 billion euro mark. The market for integrated photonics, the asset of the Brainport region, will have a worldwide scale of around 50 billion euros in 2020 and expected to also grow strongly. SMART Photonics, located on the High Tech Campus, now has over 30 employees. According to Feelders this number will be more than doubled in the course of next year. He also expects many additional jobs in the supply chain.

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